tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 13, 2013 6:00am-9:00am EST
why are you awake? john tower has the answers. >> kim zimmerman says she has a powerful thirst for knowledge. mario. >> i threw out the onion sandwich reference which they're eating on that carnival cruise line. it was from a hemingway book. this from low. i think features in onion sandwich, it's not too early for me in dublin, ireland. so we have watchers there. it's 11:00 a.m. there. and of course, the first public work of ernest hemingway, onion sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper. there's your piece of knowledge for today. thanks for watching. "morning joe" starts right now. 51 years ago, john f. kennedy declared to this chamber that the constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.
>> reporter: in the first state of the union address of his second term -- >> the state of our union is strong. >> reporter: -- president obama made a direct challenge to congress. >> let's get this done. >> reporter: as he laid out his vision for the country, the president repeatedly called on democrats and republicans to act. >> the american people don't expect government to solve every problem. but they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party. >> reporter: it all came on the same day speaker john boehner called the president out for not having the courage or guts to make tough choices on the budget. the president used the power of the podium to push back. >> some in congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts. by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training. medicare and social security benefits. that idea is even worse. >> reporter: as is typical of most state of the union
addresses, the president covered lots of ground. >> our first priority is making america a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. we must do more to combat climate change. send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and i will sign it right away. i ask this congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts and finally pass the paycheck fairness act this year. >> reporter: not to mention the middle east, afghanistan, counterterrorism, cyber terrorism, and voting rights. >> when she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. and hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her. because desilene is 102 years old, and they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, "i voted." >> reporter: but you could feel the emotion echoing through the chamber when the president turned to guns. with many lawmakers wearing green ribbons to honor the victims of newtown, the
president made his most impassioned plea to congress. >> one of those we lost was a young girl named hadiya. just three weeks ago she was here in washington with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. and a week later, she was shot and killed in a chicago park after school. her parents, nate and cleo, are in this chamber tonight. they deserve a vote. they deserve a vote. gabby giffords deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of oak creek and tucson and blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped occupy by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote.
>> a powerful moment of the evening. good morning, it's wednesday, february 13th. welcome to "morning joe." we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, analyst and former democratic congressman, harold ford jr. and president of the council on foreign relations, richard haass. in washington, national affairs editor for "new york" magazine and msnbc political analyst, john heilemann, and nbc news capitol hill correspondent, kelly o'donnell. >> what did you think? >> i thought it was a good speech. it was a laundry list. a lot of different things. i thought that was one of the more powerful moments that we ended on there. he also called for raising the minimum wage, which i would agree with. what did you think? >> richard haass, what did you think? you know -- >> that's a rhetorical question. >> ambitious. >> a lot there were a lot of missed opportunities. it's unfortunate.
i think the part that you showed at the end there talking about a vote on some of this gun legislation was without a doubt the high point of it. i thought that was very moving. but so many missed opportunities, talking about -- well, just maybe we have to tweak medicare. just maybe we have to tackle debt. it was, again, richard haass, unfortunately for this president, it was more of the same of what we saw during the state of the union, i believe, a guy that was playing to his base more than trying to figure out how to make washington work. >> it was a direct appeal to the quote, unquote, middle class. and particularly what government programs could do to help. i thought the most positive thing i would have said was the call on immigration reform. i thought that was good. i also thought the initiative on a u.s./european free trade area. it's not a sexy thing, but ultimately the united states and europe represent half the world's economy. if that actually were to happen, that's a big deal strategically and economically. so i think those things were
good. the call for climate change for something on that was incredibly vague and quite honestly the biggest problem's not going to necessarily be here at home. it's going to be the fact that the rest of the world, the chinese, the indians and all that, they're not going to support what it is we want to do on climate change. >> what do you think, mike? what were your takeaways from last night? what was the high point for you? >> well, i was struck -- i thought the speech was much more moderate than a lot of people probably expected going in, speaking about entitlements -- he mentioned entitlement reform. obviously, he didn't get into specifics about it. immigration reform. nearly everyone is in favor of immigration reform. refinancing your mortgage. that's a real middle-class pitch right there. but i was struck by the fact, i think, he soared right past the congress. right to the country. that's where he's going. he figures, i think correctly, that they have not gone along with anything that he wants to do for the past four years. and he's going to take this right to the country. and i think he probably has a stronger hand to play with the country, obviously, than he does
with the congress. >> i thought that was strategically smart. >> it's strategically smart if you want democrats to win the 2014 election. and certainly, harold ford, that's his prerogative. he's president of the united states. but that speech last night told me, harold, that he just doesn't think he can get anything done in washington, d.c., unless he has a democratic house and nancy pelosi is speaker because he sure as heck wasn't trying to bring both sides together which, again, that's his prerogative. >> right. >> i'm not criticizing him, but his political calculation clearly last night was, i'm never going to get the republicans to work with me. let's just start running nancy pelosi as speaker tonight. >> it was big. it was brawny. it was ambitious. it was a checklist of things. and in terms of being an organized set of policy proposals, coherent set of policy proposals, i agree with mike and haass's analysis of it
as well. this video is one being set up as an extension of the campaign. this will be the face of the web page for it, saying this is what this effort is all about to convince congress on a number of things we want to get done. we'll throw it all at the wall and see if anything can happen. i was pleased by one thing. you talk about the big thing. two things. he talked about the middle class i thought to an extent that was more specific than in the past. and his calls for increase to the minimum wage is something that many democrats and even some republicans particularly in the south and midwest discussed during their campaigns as well. i would agree with mike and richard on their analysis as well. >> john heilemann. >> a lot of swagger in that speech last night, joe. i think, you know, you saw the president's -- in much the same way as you pointed out as the inaugural, he's got a lot of confidence right now and a lot of boldness and a lot of attitude. there's no question it was implicitly -- the tone wasn't hostile or aggressive, but it was confrontational in a way.
the basic message of the speech to my ears was, speaking over the heads of congress and to congress saying, do your job. >> almost fed up. >> and there was an institutional kind of challenge there that kind of said look, there's a lot of great ideas here. you guys have been falling down institutionally, and i'm going to challenge you directly to do what i want you to do. i thought the economics part of the speech was relatively uninspired. the first half of it was very traditional state of the union fare and laundry listy. but the two things that really stand out are the big section of the speech on climate change. i agree with richard. it was vague. but it's something he hasn't talked about for four years. and both in the inaugural and in this speech he devoted a lot of time to it. and then at the end of the speech which was unusually passionate and rousing and emotional for a state of the union address devoted to guns. there's never been a state of the union where the president has stood up, devoted that kind of time and emotional energy to gun eviolence. i think it shows he wants to fight on that issue. >> kelly o'donnell, you were there.
were you able to gauge any reaction in the chamber among members of congress? >> it was interesting. i've been in the chamber for a number of this president's addresses and president bush before. and i think early in the evening, there was more of a sense of a flat energy. i don't know if that's because we've just come off the inaugural address. it seemed to take a while for the room to sort of ignite. when you got to the point where there was the discussion of guns, i was about five feet or so in fro of gabby giffords and her family. so i was able to see how people around them looked as they stood first quietly and then applauding. and then i also could see how some of the other family members had brought photos of loved ones. i was also struck by when sort of the kind of emotion of the moment had faded, there was one woman, i presume a mother, who shouted out kind of picking up on the president's cadence, the name of her loved one and then repeated his phrase, "deserves a vote." she was actually quietly removed from the chamber. i think the emotion of that time was certainly significant. it was a high point.
it sort of got people who might have been even, you know, a little low energy throughout to perk up. they deserve a vote is a long way from let's get this passed. so i think that's an important distinction about guns. on immigration, i thought it was much more bipartisan. i kept sort of kind of an informal tally. i think there were about 15 times when people of both parties stood for some of the things the president was talking about. and then another 11 times when it was just democrats. so there was some bipartisan energy in the room. not the moist boisterous or most alive speech i've seen the president give in person, but it had some key moments. >> isn't it terrible, mike barnicle, you know, using politics and policy as sport. we always talk about people standing up and not -- john boehner didn't stand up for the 102-year-old woman. he didn't stand up for the line, "they deserve a vote." he's in the position, i guess, where that's what he has to do as leader of the party.
but it's just -- and democrats look silly when they sit down when the president says something that's so obviously unifying. >> it looks like a day-care class. >> behind the president, applaud when he comes in, and then we're going to sit down because it just makes us look silly. >> they look like children in a day-care class. they hop up and applaud, and they'll sit and sit on their hands depending on party affiliation. one of the points in his speech where i think he really scored among people standing in line to get cups of coffee and put gas in their cars today is when he urged the congress to stop drifting from one crisis to another. that's the sense that's in the country. that these people do nothing. they just bump along from one crisis to another. >> who's captain of the ship? i'm sorry, but that's what struck me. he said that, the buck stops with the president of the united states. he went out and gave that speech, richard haass. you know, i wish marco rubio
would have said, you want to know what the state of the union is? let me tell you what the state of the union is. average income of americans has dropped 5%. not since barack obama became president of the united states, but since the recession ended. our economy's in transition. more americans are being left behind. senior citizens aren't going to be assured of these entitlement programs for long. we're $6 trillion deeper in debt today than we were when barack obama became president. barack obama's allowed the national debt to go up by 60% himself since he was president. 4 million more americans are out of work today than were working when barack obama became president. we've got the weakest recovery in over 70 years with barack obama as president of the united states. it is time to think big. it is time to go long. it is time to come together.
why couldn't anybody in washington say that last night? >> and there was a lack of urgency to it. there was a sense that -- it was a little bit -- so much depends on what the baseline is. and the president was almost saying things are improving. and he could have -- a very different approach would have been, yeah, things are maybe improving, but let's not kid ourselves. we face urgent problems, massive problems, and unless we get serious, among other things, about dealing with the budget, about dealing with infrastructure and all these other issues, and yes, he mentioned them, but i don't think he tied it together on the idea that this is a major national challenge facing the united states. and we've got to change fundamentally the way we do business in washington. and you, the american people, have to think differently, among other things, you've got to be prepared for changes about the way we do entitlements. and there was a hint at it -- there was a nod in that direction, but i don't think anyone came away from the speech saying things have really got to change, and i've got to change. >> yeah. you know, there might have been, and i can see how some would feel there were missed opportunities to go really big.
but it's all relative. you just wonder sometimes, you know, where the next leader is of the republican party. senator marco rubio of florida was taxed with delivering the republican response to the president's state of the union address. rubio spoke about his own background before pivoting to the president's speech. >> like most americans for me, this ideal is personal. my parents immigrated here to improve their life and to give their children a chance at an even better one. they made it to the middle class. my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. i didn't inherit any money from them. but i inherited something far better. the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. his solution to virtually every problem we face is for washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more. the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers, that's an old idea that's failed every time it's been tried.
more government isn't going to help you get ahead. it's going to hold you back. more government isn't going to create more opportunities. it's going to limit them. >> all right. also about 11 minutes into senator rubio's speech, he took a pause. >> oh, come on. you don't need to show this. >> well, actually -- you don't want me to? it's up to you. >> it's a cheap shot. >> is it a cheap shot? >> let's show it. that's who we are. >> wait, are you saying it's a cheap shot and we should show it? >> absolutely. >> i think there were performance issues, and i think we all know as people -- >> have you ever had a performance issue? >> yes, which is why it takes one to know one. these things happen when you don't really know what you're saying or believe what you're saying or feel what you're saying. what's ha happens. >> or you're speaking to millions and millions and millions and millions of americans. >> again, now -- >> this is the toughest gig. seriously, this is following -- this is like a guy that does the
plates and following the beatles on "ed sullivan." you don't want to follow the beatles on sullivan! >> why does anyone volunteer to do this? >> it's like coming out after the beatles with the hand puppet. >> all right, here it is. >> i'm not doing it. >> the short time that i've been here in washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. >> stop it, barnicle, right now. >> it's funny. >> you're, like, the mean kid in class. >> don't run it on a loop. don't run it on a loop. stop it. >> it's not just that. >> let's talk about the substance. >> that was the least of his challenges. >> talking about the presentation, hold on. let's go to harold ford. let's talk substance here. >> marco rubio's been billed as one of the future leaders of the party, but he looked last night as if he was running to be the head of a fraternity in college. the substance -- the substance wasn't totally off, but i thought there were many missed opportunities. >> you said it looked like he was running for a college--
>> fraternity president. i thought your point, joe, about what should have been said is something that should have been articulated by marco. he has become a new face for the party. he's become a new voice in the party. and one, frankly, that will command respect. but i thought last night, if he looks back on it, forget the water. if he was thirsty, he should take a sip. but the real issue there, i think he missed a real substantive opportunity. >> we've got a lot to talk about. let me just say to kids at home, if you're thinking about you want to grow up one day and give the minority's response to the president of the united states, if you drink the water, own the water. okay? >> exactly. >> you just grab that water and you hold it. you make a joke about climate change. >> joe, he tweeted a photo of the poland spring bottle. >> too late. >> after the fact. i actually saw him yesterday morning. i spent about an hour with the speaker with a small group of reporters, and rubio popped in to get coffee to say hello. i said are you feeling any pressure? he said no.
>> just very thirsty. >> his spanish version and did the live version in english where they were having sort of a group dinner. so he was walking through the hall with a plate of food. again, seemed perfectly fine. i've seen him speak many times, and he's usually quite poised. >> he's a very good speaker. >> he was feeling the tension of the moment. >> it's horrible -- it is a horrible position to be in. when you have somebody like bobby jindal who is one of the bright minds of the republican party, and he is -- >> in politics. >> i wonder if he'll say yes to do it again. >> also the sign-off, richard haass, stay thirsty, my friend, are you kidding me? this isn't going to help us swing voters and turn off the evangelical base. >> i thought it was immigration and on economic growth where i thought the speech was disappointing in the contrast with the president's speech could have been larger was on gun control which was dismissive, on climate change, which was dismissive. i think there were two sentences
on foreign policy. i think you have to say more about the position of the united states and the world. >> the middle east is in flames right now. you should probably talk about it. >> you have to be self-aware. and i think of chris christie, who i believe, unless i remember incorrectly, turned it down. >> he's a smart man, chris christie, and he's in the 70s. >> he turned this one down? >> not this one. >> i have a question that perhaps john heilemann can answer. marco rubio's a smart guy, an attractive guy, an articulate guy with a terrific life story. why is it that in an age in the past few months when the republicans have been talking about broadening the base of the party, speaking to a larger audience, why is it that he spent so much time last night seemingly preaching to the choir rather than talking to the country? >> that's a good point. >> well, you know, mike, i think he points out the awkward intraparty politics that the republicans now face. you know, you have a party that does need to broaden its base. it needs to reach out to a lot of the elements of the coalition
that elected president obama, if they want to get back in the game in terms of national elections. and yet to win the republican nomination in 2016, requires a catering to a part of the republican party, the republican base, that is not in the middle of the country. that's pretty far out on the right. >> john, can i ask you quickly, are these speeches done by committee? did marco have to pass through a lot of different republicans before he gave it himself? >> i don't think so, joe. in fact, i was told yesterday on capitol hill that he wrote most of the speech himself. he has a very large and growing assembly of very talented republican strategists around him who think that he's the future of the party. a lot of people got to look at that speech. but it was said pretty reliable to me yesterday by a senior republican that he basically writes his own speeches. and i don't think anybody else in the party outside of his orbit got their hands on it. >> the reason why i asked that was because it really sounded like one of these speeches that was written by committee. i had no problem with the water drinking. you know, he did look kind of
uncomfortable, like you said, harold. out of his element a bit. my biggest problem was that it sounds like a speech that i gave in 1994. >> in 1994. >> the first time i was running for congress. and i sat there. like i actually had a hard time focusing on the content of the speech because john, how many times have you heard this speech since 1994? and i sat there thinking, is this how we're going to reach out to a new generation of conservatives? i don't think so. we have -- i mean, it is -- you know, william f. buckley believed that it was all about ideas. and that speech last night told me nothing. that i have not heard 1,000 times since 1994. >> well, joe, i'll bring it even further up to date. if you take out the immigration part of the speech, it was basically the romney platform from 2012. and this kind of cuts to a pretty core issue for republicans. is it just that they have to
change their image and branding and their messaging, or do they have to change their positions on a bunch of substance issues? i think it's not so much that the speech was written by committee. it's that marco rubio was talking to two different audiences. he's trying both to talk to the country and speak to that broader coalition that republicans need to tap into. but he's also giving a speech for insiders here. he's trying to convey to the republican gang of 500 or whatever that he's the guy for 2016. and if you're trying to talk to the conservatives who are going to select the republican nominee next time and also simultaneously talk to the broader part of the electorate, that's a very hard act to pull off. it's very hard to talk to both of those audiences successfully. >> i've got to say there's a third thing here working, though. it's not just a question of style or substance. it's not about the republicans changing their entire platform. it's not turning away from the eternal truths that we conservatives believe in that doesn't change decade to decade or election cycle to election cycle. it's applying our conservative
beliefs and values to working-class americans like a shopkeeper's daughter in england did, to the british people in 1979 when she launched the thatcher revolution. we've got to apply our beliefs and our values to the facts that are before us. and it's what this party hasn't done. it's what mitt romney could never do. he could never connect the dots to relate to middle america. and marco, for all of his talents, didn't do that last night. we've got to actually start figuring out a way to relate our message. >> i don't disagree with that about the message and your party and i'll stay in my lane and say that the people around him, that team you're talking about, heilmann, got in his head and messed up and do damage in the long run. i coach people on public speaking, i could see all those people in his head. coming up, former white house press secretary, robert gibbs, will be here on set.
>> can you coach me? i need some help. >> i will. i'll just do the rap sign. senator tom coburn, house majority whip kevin mccarthy and los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa. also joining the table, chairman and ceo of comcast is here, brian roberts. pull it together. could you go downstairs and get a suit on, please? coming up next -- no -- this is my sweater and nobody's taking it from me. >> it's going to walk away it's so dirty. >> nobody's going to make me change it now, tomorrow. this is like the eternal truth. this is my eternal truth. mike allen's coming up next. first here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill, what's going on? >> bill, you look nice. >> yeah, suit and tie today. good morning, everyone. every day, too. a little weak storm headed for new england. bring the umbrella with you this morning in new york city, philadelphia, down to the d.c., baltimore areas. starting off your morning commute dry. we've got rain and snow heading our way late today. currently that storm is located over tennessee bringing some rain and snow mixture right
along the ohio river. even louisville could pick up a half inch of snow. there's the forecast for today. it's actually going to be mild during the day. but then it will get cloudy. the rain will come. it will get a little colder, changing over to snow in philadelphia and new york especially after dark. most of us will get home okay. the roads won't be slippery. later on tonight they will get slippery. just enough to be on the annoying side. about one to three inches predicted for new york city to philadelphia. there's a little sliver central jersey towards the coast and long island that could pick up three to four. boston and hartford not looking at much for you at all. the rest of the country today, we're leaving the southeast with a little bit of chance for rain today. especially north florida, maybe a strong thunderstorm. we're drying you out in new orleans. dallas and also through kansas city. your valentine's day forecast, southern half of the country is looking fantastic for valentine's day. we're also not looking bad in the north east as that storm we're going to get tonight will be long gone. times square, could get another one on two inches of snow by this time tomorrow morning. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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time now to take a look at the "morning papers" at 2929 pa past the hour. from our parade of papers, "los angeles times." officials in california confirm a body has been found in a burned-out cabin where 33-year-old christopher dorner, a former police officer and alleged murderer, took cover amid a massive federal manhunt. according to investigators, the former navy reservist shot two deputies yesterday, killing one as the officer surrounded his position about 8 # 0 miles east of los angeles. police say they heard a single gunshot from inside the cabin. and medical testing is now being done to confirm the body's identity. "the washington post," a team of tugboats are slowly dragging to shore a disabled
cruise ship with thousands of people on board in the gulf of mexico. >> yeah. >> in sweltering heat. >> this is a bad day. >> broken bathrooms. a shortage of food. >> five bathrooms, 3,000 people. >> sandwiches were reportedly on the menu yesterday. the ship is still at least a day away from the nearest port in mobile, alabama. keep that ship away from pensacola. that is just miserable. >> i don't get cruises, and now i really don't get cruises. >> five bathrooms for 3,000 people. >> i don't want to be corralled at sea. >> that's like "the office." >> it makes me twitch thinking about it. >> that's just -- i don't get cruises. >> let's move on. >> i don't even like 5,000 people in the same county as me. let alone on the same ship. >> maybe we're not nice. >> five bathrooms? i think we're normal. >> no, i went on one. >> maybe we could have them as a sponsor. >> give us a call, carnival.
great britain has a story, mika, in the "daily mail." >> a new study finds that teenagers are now texting while they're still asleep. oh, dear. >> you do this. it's because you're on ambien. the data from a villanova university study shows that teens -- she also giggles when she's on ambien. >> i'm tired today, that's for sure. >> teens are texting when they're not really conscious and they have no memory of what they're doing. once they wake up. >> mm-hmm. okay, "usa today," there's too many jokes there. wrestling, which has been part of the olympics since the year 708, will not be a part of the summer games in 2020. >> why not? >> the international olympic committee said lack of popularity. >> a sport and then they took it away, which is too bad. >> have these people never been to iowa? what are you talking about? >> a purist sport. >> bmx biking and trampoline, they're very exciting. >> they're in? what is bmx biking?
they're doing bmx biking but they're taking wrestling out? >> synchronized swimming, they're taking wrestling out. >> i don't get wrestling. >> what do you mean, you don't get wrestling? >> the purest of sports. >> it is the purest of sports. >> against each other, rolling around. i don't want to watch that. >> that is just ridiculous. >> there was baseball, then there was wrestling. >> with us now, chief white house correspondent. >> is that bad? obviously someone agrees with me. >> mike allen here with the "morning playbook." i'm still shaken by the exclusion of wrestling in 2020. mike allen, this morning "politico's" taking lie look at the big picture behind the president's state of the union address. i guess the question is what was the president after last night? >> well, the president was saying that this is a center/left nation. he was unabashed about that. the rhetoric that we heard in the inauguration now has some meat on its bones. and people are talking about how little the president will get
passed. but it's astonishing that he will get some of these things on guns, he's going to get universal background checks, probably tough trafficking law, maybe a limit on magazine size. and no, he's not going to get a ban on assault weapons. but if we said a year ago the president was going to get these kind of measures on gun control, we would have been surprised. also on immigration, more signs last night that there is going to be movement on that after the rubio response, there was yet another republican response. the tea party response from senator rand paul of kentucky. and fascinatingly, importantly, he talked in there about how the tea party wants something to happen on immigration. so it's going to be hard. yesterday speaker boehner did not sound like someone who is in a deal-making mood. at a breakfast with network anchors and correspondents, he said he didn't think the president had the guts. he used that word to do what needed to be done on entitlements. but the house is going to wait
for the senate to move on these. and when the slow-moving senate comes with something real on these, there's going to be a lot of pressure on the house to deliver. >> thank you, mike allen. still ahead, nbc political director, chuck todd and from "the washington post," eugene robinson. more "morning joe" when we come back. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets.
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at 38 past the hour, just hours before the president called for more bipartisanship in his speech last night, members of congress were locked in a bitter fight over the nomination of chuck hagel as the next secretary of defense. in a sharply divided 14-11 vote, the armed services committee sent hagel's nomination to the senate floor but only after hours of intense debate. >> we saw, with his nomination, something truly extraordinary, which is the government of iran formally and publicly praising the nomination of a defense secretary. i would suggest to you that to my knowledge, that is unprecedented to see a foreign nation like iran publicly celebrating a nomination. >> i want to put on the record that this senator feels like
that senator cruz has gone over the line. he basically has impugned the patriotism of the nominee in your conclusions, which you are entitled to come to, about him, in essence, about being cozy with iran. >> my friend, senator nelson, i wrote down the words, criticizing our senator there for implying that chuck hagel was cozy with terrorist-type countries, referring to iran. i'd say he's endorsed by them. you can't get any doze zier than that. >> i've got to tell you, senator inhofe, be careful because you might have an organization that would endorse you that you find abhorre abhorrent. and then would you have the right to say -- would i have the right to say you are cozy with
them? what if some horrible organization said tomorrow that you are the best guy they knew? >> senator hagel is an honorable man. he has served his country, and no one on this committee, at any time, should impugn his character or his integrity. >> richard, what ted cruz yesterday was just outrageous. i don't know what his audience is, but it is a very narrow, narrow base. i was stunned. also talking about financial improprieties that he had no evidence of. you have john mccain coming to chuck hagel's defense. >> good for john mccain. >> good for john mccain. you have stepped over the line. >> there's been a pattern with the hagel debate of people going beyond legitimate public debate. we saw it on the charges of anti-semitism. now illegal money or whatever. there's a legitimate debate to have about chuck hagel or any other nominee. this is way past that. but there's an irony here.
hagel, in part, got this nomination in order to bridge the partisan divide. it was supposed to be someone who would appeal to republicans. instead he gets reported out with a straight party-line vote. no republicans supporting him. this cannot be what anyone in washington intended. >> i know. john heilemann, i hate to keep bringing him up because i hate bringing up somebody simply for bad behavior, but i'm absolutely flummoxed by ted cruz's short-term and long-term political strategy. you know, mark halperin told me before he got sworn in, he was a very smart guy, a bright guy, a harvard lawyer. i just don't -- this is a guy that could have such a positive impact on the future of the republican party. he seems to be -- he seems to be going for the head of the sugarland tea party chapter in
texas. i just don't get it. these charges yesterday were just beyond the pale. again, john mccain defending hagel because they were so outrageous. >> i mean, it's kind of grotesque, joe. and i think, you know, you look at the two senators that we pictured just there. john mccain coming to chuck hagel's defense even though he's been very critical of hagel just in the last couple of weeks. and the person whose side you're on if you're ted cruz is jim inhofe, which is not where you want to be if you want to be a national leader of the republican party. jim inhofe, at the very far right end of the scale from oklahoma. that's not the company you want to keep if you're ted cruz and you want to be a mainstream leader of the republican party. but look, you saw last night, for all of the problems that some of us identify with marco rubio, marco rubio's a guy who is a tea party-backed senator who now is trying to find his way towards being having a broader appeal. you've got a guy like ted cruz,
he has a choice to make. and yesterday, and by all indications so far, he has great pedigree. he could do exactly the same thing and go towards the mainstream, but he doesn't seem like he's doing that. it seems like he's laying his cards down to go to the far right and appeal just to the pure hardcore tea partiers, as you just said. >> it's a sad statement about the u.s. senate yesterday. fortunately john mccain rescued the body with his comments. >> and by the way, thank you, senator mccain. that's what washington, kelly, used to be about. nobody can disagree -- nobody could disagree with chuck hagel more than john mccain does. and for good reasons. they have a completely different view of foreign policy, how it should be enacted, especially the middle east, but john mccain had the character to stand up and defend a guy he disagreed with. >> mccain had said it was the most unimpressive appearance at a hearing when hagel had his confirmation hearing and then came back and gave those remarks in his defense. he also had tried to discourage
anybody from walking out of that committee. that was one strategy that was being kicked around. he's against a filibuster. what is so unusual about what ted cruz did as a freshman senator, he does have that harvard law degree, so he was sort of cloaked in all of the ways of sounding proper and formal. but what he was saying did not have any evidence. and he was fearless coming back at more senior senators. i'm told that in some of their private meetings among republicans, they have tried to encourage the new senators like a mike lee, a rand paul, ted cruz to sort of know the ways of how senators deal with each other. speaking to each other in those very personal harsh terms does not happen very often. people think they all don't get along, but usually in these meetings and in these hearings, there's a politeness. and the disagreements are about the ideas, not these personal attacks. it was really unusual to see that. >> and by the way, i'm always taken by people that are, way to go. way to go up to that senator. there are 100 of them. i recommend for those of you saying you want your senator to
go up and insult somebody in this small, small group of 100 people that have to work together every day on guiding this country, why don't you try that at work today? go to somebody in the cubicle right across from you and just berate them. >> go to the front office. >> and be nasty. attack them personally. say that they are in bed with terrorists. just do that and see how long you work there. see how much work you get from them in the future. i mean, people are -- ted cruz has blown up bridges. the first month that he's there. and again, i don't know -- i don't know what the long-term strategy is. it's very disturbing to me. >> he's talking to the tv cameras. i'd like to see senator cruz have the courage -- the courage -- to sit across a table from chuck hagel and ask chuck hagel, tell me the story about the day you got the bronze star. >> how you got it. >> okay, ted. line that one up, baby.
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all right. at 50 past the hour, a live look at union station in washington, d.c., as the sun comes up. we can get one must-read in. i'm going to mick maureen dowd who writes in "the new york times," "the rap on rubio. the ubiquitous 41-year-old who's on the cover of "time" as the republican savior looked as if he needed some saving himself tuesday night as he delivered
the party's state of the union response in english and spanish. he seemed parched, shaky and sweaty, rubbing his face and at one point lunging off camera to grab a bottle of water. he needed some of the swagger reflected on the spotify playlist he recently released featuring tupac's "changes." right now marco is like a paper doll as the party oohs and ahs. as nicolle wallace, the former adviser to sarah palin, gushed to george stephanopoulos: he's modern. he knows who tupac is. >> tupac. >> i don't. who is that, harold? >> i was going to say, two times. doing it a third time -- >> what is it? >> few patupac. who is that? >> mika just doesn't get out too much. heilmann. by the way, why don't we just change the subject?
>> wait, i'm not done. >> we played postal service coming in, heilmann. are you a postal service fan? >> what? >> do you know who postal service is? >> i don't know that band. who is that? >> amazing. they're having a reunion. i think we should just talk about music. >> but wait, nicolle also said who could ask for anything more? that's what she says about marco rubio. >> about nicolle's comment. ni nicolle wallace's comment. >> are we being harsh about this guy peaking or is he just not ready? >> he'll get beyond it, but what joe articulated at the beginning of the show, the union could be stronger, here is what's happening and here's what we should be doing and he missed the opportunity to lay that out and to be a national leader. he spoke to perhaps the tea party back in his state. >> i'm going to get in trouble for saying this.
i should just keep my mouth shut but i'm going to say it. because you've just got to say the truth. you really do. mar yco rubio is, in effect, th republican party's answer to barack obama. a guy that's great looking, a guy that's articulate, a guy that could put together a lot of different groups that could help you win the presidency. and a guy who's not ready to be president of the united states. barack obama was not ready to be president of the united states. he still hasn't really figured out how to work washington like clinton figured it out, like lbj figured it out, like reagan figured it out. he wasn't ready. marco's not ready. and they're throwing him out there because they're going, oh, you know, we did poorly with hispanics so let's put marco out there. he's not ready yet. that doesn't mean he won't be ready. he's a great-looking guy. he's articulate. he's just -- >> i see some parallels, but i don't see all of them. >> from florida. spring training has started. and they'd be looking at a marco
rubio and saying he's talented, move him up to aaa and then to majors. >> in fairness, barack obama had his first national speech, he knocked it out of his park. >> he nailed it. >> hold on a second. barack obama was a state senator. marco rubio was speaker of the house of, like, the fourth largest state in america, okay? so if we want to compare state legislative careers, marco had more experience. he's still not ready to be president of the united states. and republicans that are pushing him out there are making a big mistake. >> you need to let him season. i mean, my god. you know, chris christie, i'm just telling you, he's -- he took everybody who is trying to fill him with kool-aid and say, you know what? simmer down. i've got stuff to do in my state. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> i'm going to stay away from that. >> i'm just going to stop. by the way, postal service reunion. 2013.
>> are you serious? >> still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> are you serious? >> i just wouldn't say fill him full of kool-aid. kevin mccarthy's coming up next. also, tom coburn. so much more here. we can't fit it in. this is a huge show! come on, mika. i don't appreciate that. [ dad ] find it? ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. good arm. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem,
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standing by in the green room, harold, get out of there. robert gibbs and eugene robinson are here. more "morning joe" in just a moment. i'm jennifer hudson. the reason i'm still in this body feelin' so good isn't because i never go out and enjoy the extra large, extra cheese world we live in. it's because i do. introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. join for free and expect amazing. because it works.
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1978. do you remember these commercials? >> there's chris christie right there. >> now, stop it. it's just -- you know what? it's amazing, the way we marketed poison to our children. >> oh, i tell you what. poison tastes so much better than this. >> stop drinking that. and you need to change, by the way, robert gibbs has a sweater does not look like it will walk away. >> robert looks good. >> you, i have some advice that's coming in on twitter @morningmika saying that you should get some febreze and spray joe. that might help. >> i don't know what that means. >> that might help. >> is it about my sweater? >> i think that's much more -- >> i'm the only one on the face of the earth who doesn't know how to say tupac because i'm getting killed. i'm not going to look over there anymore. sorry about that. >> during the show. it's very distracting. how did the president do last night, robert? >> i thought the president outlined a very robust, busy agenda for america.
i thought -- >> can he get any of it done? >> look, i think that's going to be the $664,0$64,000 question. i think the prosecutes is right to say we cannot govern a series of manufactured crises. but the things that have been done in washington over the past two years are those things with these hard backstops of deadlines that move people to do something. i think immigration reform is different, but i think that's almost entirely because republicans who had an exit poll the morning after the election and decided we've got to fix that. >> there's nothing like a hanging at dawn that focuses, more than the hanging at dawn that focuses -- gene, though, we were talking about this earlier, isn't the president, though, the guy in charge? the buck stops with him, and if washington is tacking from one crisis to the next, he is the captain. >> yeah. but he doesn't have the power to pass legislation. he doesn't have the power of the
purse. so he laid out an ambitious agenda, most of which needs legislative action, some of which can be done with executive action. and i think he made clear that he will do with executive action what he can accomplish and try on the rest. i don't think we heard a lot that would give us confidence that we're going to have big, bold legislative progress. >> right. i asked before, what was ted cruz's strategy. because i'm having a hard time figuring it out. in a completely different ballpark here. >> yeah. >> i'm asking, what the president's strategy of speaking past congress to the american people when he knows, over the next couple of years, he's going to have to deal with people that were in front of him last night if he wants to get some of the legislation passed that he really wants passed? >> well, i think he perhaps has difficulty figuring out what it is he's supposed to say to the
people in front of him that will have the desired result, right? he said what he believes and what he would like to see and let's work together toward it. we won't all get everything we want, but we'll get some of it. and the country will be a better place. that's a reasonable message, right? and i think if you've sensed a certain reality check inside the president's head about who was listening there in that chamber and if you perhaps saw a few of the battle scars, then maybe that's what you sensed. but, you know, he laid it out. i don't know what else he could have said. >> john heilemann, some republicans are accusing the president of already looking ahead to 2014. trying to set up nancy pelosi as speaker of the house, realizing he's not going to be able to work with john boehner's house. do you think that's a fair
conclusion to draw from the speech last night and the progressive message that was contained in his inauguration? >> well, i don't, really, joe, in the sense that the kinds of issues that the president spent a lot of time on last night, you think about the push that he gave to gun control. you think about the climate change push that took up a lot of the speech and was a big deviation from the first four years. those are not issues that democrats in the house -- i mean, there's obviously people on the left wing of the democratic party who love those issues. but for vulnerable depthmocrats those are tough issues. democrats in purple districts and the few remaining democrats that are in kind of red states, those are hard votes to take. that's not agenda for a democratic majority. >> well, it's not also an agenda for democrats that are running for re-election in the senate in 2014 which is, again -- >> right. right. >> -- a reason why i raise the question, what was the president
after last night? because he's going to have as much trouble with kay hagen on that as he is from kevin mccarthy who we're about to interview here. >> from north carolina. >> from north carolina, right. >> i think there are two different things going on, joe. >> a democrat. >> i think one is that the president is playing a long game with respect to helping to cement the coalition that he built in 2012. these are issues that are good issues for democrats on a national level that helped them be a presidential party. they're not necessarily great for a lot of democrats in congress for a lot of vulnerable democrats in congress, but there are good issues on which to build that coalition on which he won in 2012. and on the short-term thing, look, the president looks back on 2011, and on every time there's been a fiscal negotiation, when he's tried to play the inside game, he's gotten nowhere. and so his lesson that he's taken away i think from the debt ceiling debacle and the way he won the payroll tax fight in the early part of 2012 was that you win by playing the outside game, by bringing public pressure on
congress. you can't win by just playing the game, as david axelrod put it once, by trying to negotiate with republicans in quite rooms. he's got to drive public pressure, and that's the only way progress is going to happen. >> we've got kevin mccarthy coming up in 30 seconds. quickly, robert gibbs, when i hear the speech last night, and it looks like he's brushing past republicans, i think back to that editorial meeting in reno, i think it was, back in 2008 where he said i want to be a transitional president like reagan. i think this is about building a center/left coalition for a generation to come. that's his goal. >> i think what john said is right. look, you're dealing with members of congress that are sitting at a 12% approval rating, right? you don't spend a lot of time in meetings thinking, what happens if we go to 7%, right? they've got -- the president has to bring some outside pressure on behalf of the american people. i think the refrain of they deserve a vote was written in
there not just about gun control but about all the other proposals in the speech, saying to the american people, pressure this congress into voting on the series of things that you heard tonight. and as the president said, it is your choice. you can vote yes or you can vote no. but they deserve some vote in this. >> yeah. and i think it was also promoting an element of teamwork rather than confrontation, which, you know, i think it would have been criticized if he got -- if he went there too hard on the republicans. with us now from capitol hill, let's ask house majority whip and republican representative from california, congressman kevin mccarthy who joins us now. kevin, good to have you on this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> first of all, i'd love to hear your response to what the president had to say, and then i'm going to ask you about marco rubio. >> okay. >> did we put the water -- do you got the water to the side of you there? >> we have a cup of water. >> it's a cheap shot, i'm sorry. go ahead. >> look, i mean, the president,
what he laid out, there were some things we had heard before that were pieced together again. there were a lot of -- in some of those arguments that i hear you talking around the table with, one democrat turned to me and said, let there be a vote, it wasn't so much he was talking to the house. he was trying to talk to senate democrats because a lot of the things that he talked about he'll actually have trouble getting through a senate. so part of it was talking to the outside trying to change congress, trying to move together. but he delivers a good speech. the most difficult part that i was looking for, of all the things he wants to add, i would have set up talks on both, do the first priority, and then we can talk about where we're going to spend the rest of this money. >> let's talk about the democrats up in 2014. and i talked about kay hagen. there are a lot of others. democrats face a really uphill battle. do you get the sense that some of the president's asqugenda it, whether it's global warming or gun control, or going to face roadblocks in the senate because of senate democrats?
>> i think if he tries to move any of that through the senate, it's probably one of the most difficult jobs he'll have to get it out of the senate. what do you got, six senators, the states that obama got under 42% in are up for re-election. that's a tough play. and the senate is not known for getting together and moving, and this makes it even more difficult. >> i mean, south dakota, alaska, north carolina, louisiana, montana, arkansas. i mean, those -- >> that's not an agenda they can run on for re-election. >> and those are all democrats that got elected in really red states that are up in 2014. go ahead, harold. i'm sorry. >> kevin, good morning. harold ford, congressman. very quickly, the president did speak to the need for congress to act on a variety of things. and he spoke specifically to how congress responds to manufactured crises. i can appreciate the concern. i know you're expressing for democrats up for re-election in
the senate next year, but was is there some truth to the fact that -- >> kevin's worried. he's sensitive. >> sincere, too. is there some truth to the fact that congress only responds and reacts when they're faced with a crises, and can we move beyond it? because i think there's a frustration in the country, probably in california, certainly across the country about how this legislative branch only reacts when they have the proverbial legislative gun to their head. >> look, i've watched a lot of governments through the years. and nine times out of ten, they only react till after the deadline's passed. this place is no different. if you check with what has gone through the house today, we had a debt ceiling crisis. did you hear us go to the brink, or did you watch the house and the republicans take the lead and move that beyond and put the focus on to the budget? when you talk today about sequestration, what the president talked about, that's what was the president's idea in the last debt ceiling. one thing i will say is the most important thing we need to do is end the uncertainty, end the crisis prks but what you have to do is deal with those issues
early. that's why the house, last term, passed two bills that dealt with sequestration. the senate did nothing. now we're coming up to the deadline, and now people are creating a crisis. if you want to focus on something, you should plan to the future. and if we haven't had a budget come out of the senate in the last three years, and what i think is most ironic, you've got tim cook, ceo of apple, sitting up with the first lady. the last time the senate democrats passed a budget, the ipad wasn't even introduced yet. so yeah. i would do the first priorities and planning in a budget would be the best thing to end a lot of crises. >> so what's the republican plan right now on sequestration? the president doesn't want it. but some conservatives are starting to say despite the fact there are a lot of defense cuts in there, this may be the only way we get real spending cuts over the next year. >> if nothing happens, sequestration goes into effect, if i look at past behavior of washington, there's a very good chance it goes into effect. that is what the deal was more than 18 months ago, and that was
the only thing the president asked for. you're asking for three cents on the dollar to be cut, and it's over a ten-year time frame. so everything i see going forward, it's going to go through. and then at the end of the month, you're going to have a continuing resolution which you're going to find that republicans in the house want to make sure that we do not create a crisis. that we actually pass a continuing resolution early enough, no problems, move it forward, and let's plan for a future that we can actually build an economy. >> so kevin, just before we get to the republican response, are any leaders in congress, republican leaders, willing to go to the white house and meet with the president and try and make some sort of at least small deal, if not a bigger one? >> look, we're more than willing to work with the president on any issue he wants to work on. but to be quite frank, we're kind of tired of being charlie brown and have lucy pull the football out from under us. there's many times we go there and want to deal with entitlement reform. and look, i'm one that firmly believes in divided government,
you achieve big things. ronald reagan had tip o'neill and they reformed the tax code. bill clinton, he had newt gingrich and bob dole. and they balanced the budget by reforming welfare. right after the inaugural, we had that lunch. and i was seated at the table next to bill clinton. you know what i whispered into his ear? i never thought i'd tell you this, but we miss you. i said, my best advice is, you should call the president every night for 30 minutes. talk to him. how do you get to a place? welfare reform was not a place democrats wanted to go to under bill clinton, but he took them there. we went there together and it was best for america. we can do that same thing to save entitlements and put america back on a different financial track. and i'll tell you what. you could achieve a lot more when you have a different financial house. >> hey, kevin? >> yes. >> you've got to go. i mean, in order to get something done, don't you have to meet? >> we'll gladly meet. >> okay. >> there's no problem with us not meeting. the difference is, remember the last times when we meet?
the president would take the time to say he couldn't meet because he was out campaigning. he'd go to michigan. he'd go to pennsylvania. >> kevin, kevin, kevin, you know what? hold on. you can also say that the last time you guys were close to something, you guys released it to the press before you went to the president. go back. just go back. just stop. >> mika, i've been there many times, and i've watched the negotiations, and i've listened to the president say many times he wants to reform entitlements but can never get there at the end of the day. so, look. the framers of this country set out that the house does work. the senate does work. and then you can go and finish the job and send it to the president. sometimes i think that's probably the best way to get the job done. >> joe. >> kevin, thanks so much for being with us. we greatly appreciate it. i always love talking to you. can i leave you with one bit of advice? >> sure. >> if somebody ever asks you to give the response to the state of the union address, do what chris christie did, and just say no. is it not ano-win situation, actually? >> you know the best advice for
republicans is to win the white house so we never have to give the response. >> there you go. bingo. kevin mccarthy, thank you so much. i greatly appreciate it. you know, i thought, gene, actually, when he -- when kevin was talking about, he leaned over and whispered into bill clinton's ear, i thought he was going to say, i thought i had been around in the '90s so i could impeach you. >> what gift says more than impeachment? come on. >> it's so funny. david axelrod goes crazy when bill clinton and i talk about all the great things we accomplished in the '90s because they impeached him! in the '90s, it seemed like the thing. it just seemed like the thing to do at the time. >> what happened in the '90s stays in the '90s. >> unfortunately, no. >> correction on something kevin said. remember, it was the senate that acted first to help avert the fiscal cliff. had it not been for mcconnell, had it not been for reid and biden and the senate acting first before the house --
>> that said, in kevin's defense, house republicans passed so many things that just never see the light of day. and harry reid's senate. but the way things used to work, you used to pass things in the house, and then the senate would pass things. and then when harold and i at least were in washington in the '90s, then you go to conference committee, and they battle it out. that doesn't happen if harry reid doesn't pass things in the senate. he is the president's pocket veto. >> the step you're missing in that is -- and kevin mccarthy's interview proves that denial is not simply a river in egypt -- there's no conference committee. >> can i -- hold on. hold on. >> that's a good one. that was so fancy. >> is not just a river in egypt. >> that's what he does now. >> that's something brad pitt would say in one of those chanel ads. >> let's call brad. >> standing against the wall wearing nothing. >> he's wearing the sweater. >> go like this. >> you can't get away with saying things like that on this show. >> i want to hear his vision.
>> why? more "morning joe." >> i know you're way above the cliche. i'm sorry. >> stupid cliche. >> what are they putting on the table when they go to the white house? what are they putting on the table to get us halfway from where the president is and house republicans are to where we have to meet in the middle? these guys pass bills, like he said, and they act like if the president doesn't accept their bill, then somehow the president isn't doing his job. i mean, to use your ship and captain analogy. >> right. >> right? it is as if it's more like the oceanliner that's adrift in mexico, right? >> oh. >> the constitution needs -- the constitution requires that the captain in this case get approval from everybody else before we turn that wheel. and it requires -- >> don't bring up the constitution because i'll say the constitution believes that you're going to have a lower chamber of the house, an upper chamber of the senate, they'll both pass legislation, they'll
come together in conference committee, they're going in regular order, they're going to go ahead and get a deal, and then they're going to take it to the white house. but harry reid has been the president's first line of defense against having to answer any of these pieces of legislation. >> also, by the way, you pass a bill with a majority in the senate. you don't need 60 votes for everything. >> i think fortunately we're heading that way. by the way, and we need to remember these six states because it really is key to the president as much as house republicans. democrats, in 2014, running in south dakota, alaska, north carolina, louisiana, montana and arkansas. the president barely got 40% of the vote there. harold ford, that's going to be key to what passes in congress. >> i do think that kevin has a slight concern for those democratic senators, but i think the larger point is the correct one. whether or not the agenda the president laid out last night and the way that he did is one that can be successful run in these states. the outcomes, if we reduce gun
violence, yes, create a path so citizenship for so many americans who are hardworking and paying taxes, yes, that will help. the way politics are played around these issues, i would agree. >> listen, and i'm just going to say as a guy that wants universal background checks passed, as a guy that would like to see the high-capacity magazines lifted -- and landrieu in louisiana, baucus in montana, i'm very concerned that a lot of this sensible gun legislation, even trafficking, may be endangered not just by house republicans but by senate democrats. it's going to be tough. >> eugene, thank you so much. >> gene, thank you. >> robert, can you stay with us? i'm getting my clip board out. i can't wait to write all these down. >> i'm ready. >> denial is more than just a river in egypt. brad pitt. >> not just. if he's going to do it, can you ask him to get it right, at least? >> yeah. coming up next, comcast
chairman and ceo brian roberts is going to be here. >> oh, boy. >> to discuss why in the world he would want to buy all of nbc universal when we worked here. also with us, mika, who? >> oh, we have mayor antonio villaraigosa and political analyst, jeff greenfield. up next, senator tom coburn joins us along with chuck todd. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. my mother made the best toffee in the world. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today
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welcome back to "morning joe." let's go right now to capitol hill and republican senator from oklahoma, senator tom coburn along with nbc news chief white house correspondent and host of "the daily rundown," chuck todd. john heilemann is still with us. look at all this facial hair coming out of washington, d.c. this is like the 1800s.
it's looking good. actually, tom coburn -- >> it's feeling like the 1800s. >> but you guys aren't -- they're not caning each other, joe. if we start caning each other, then you'll -- then it's the 1800s. >> we're going to show, by the way, chuck todd, after this segment, what -- the way you are supposed to drink liquids when you're on tv. >> we just saw it. we just saw it. >> it's this way. it's this way. >> republicans drinking water. >> if you're going to take a drink, own the drink. and tom coburn owns the drink. >> he's got it. >> he's not looking off camera. >> beautiful. beautiful form. >> be the drink. own the drink. >> but joe, to defend -- think about this for a moment of what marco rubio had to do that he probably never had to do before, and that is speak without an audience. >> right. >> and you'd probably forget, and it's something that they didn't realize, when you don't have an oaudience to give you a applause break even for five seconds, you don't have that moment. and suddenly i think he
realized, it was a fairly long speech. he realized 11 minutes in, oh, "s," where do i get my drink of water? >> i don't know what oh, "s" means. a guy that has delivered speeches to large audiences and never gotten applause lines, i feel marco's pain. so let's go from style to substance. tom coburn, i think it's safe to say the things that concern me the most, concern you the most regarding long-term debt. getting this country on the right track. did you hear anything last night that gave you reason to hope? >> oh, you know, i think eventually with time, the president's going to have to come around on entitlements. he hinted at that. he has started to try to reach out to some people for the first time in terms of really having some discussions on those. so i think that's a positive move. this was a shorter speech than what he's given in the past. it was welcome. there's a lot of stuff that is
counterintuitive to an expanding economy that he put in there. you know, it's my opinion -- it may not be right -- but part of our biggest problem is we have the government involved in way too much stuff now. that's why we're running trillion-dollar deficits. that's why we're having difficulty seeing a good rebound from a negative gdp in the fourth quarter to maybe 1% or 1.5% the first half of this year. that's highly unusual given our history and where we've been and the amount of money that's been invested in the size and growth of the government. i thought he put forth some good ideas. i agree we need to vote on guns. let's have the debate. let's have it out there. let's talk about what the constitution says and what the bill of rights is and what tenth amendment rights are and second amendment. i think we ought to have votes. i'm all for that. i'm confident that once we have the votes, that we will have
fixed the real problem and not treated symptoms. >> we've been talking this morning about whether the president was speaking to congress or speak past congress. you said something in your first answer that's interesting. you said the president's starting to reach out more to people on the hill. can you expand on that? >> oh, not other than to -- i'm not going to go into specifics, but, you know, the fact is is we're going to have a sequestration. there's going to be some pain because the politicians on the hill aren't going to make cogent, smart decisions about alternatives to this until they start really feeling some pain. it's a stupid way to govern, but that's the way we're doing it right now. and i'd say the blame lies on everybody's shoulders including the president's. about we're going to have it. and then we're going to come around, and we're going to start saying, okay, we're going to start picking and choosing what's important and what's not. and we're going to start eliminating things that are, first, not of great value, and number two, things that we actually can't afford.
we're getting ready to head into the first of what's going to be several years of making very difficult decisions. and congress really isn't ready for it. they still don't have the courage to sit and tell their constituents. you know, regardless of your parochial concerns, we've spent money we didn't have on things we didn't need. we can't do it anymore, and guess what, we can't keep doing what we're doing. and they haven't gotten there yet, but the financiers of the world are going to put them there. and hopefully we'll start on our own rather than have some of the financiers of the world telling us what we'll do. >> so chuck todd, given that assessment of congress, what else could the president have done last night? i thought he made a really great case for closing loopholes and reaching out to the middle class. while not getting too much in the face of republicans for, perhaps, getting in the way of getting something done. >> well, i thought what was fascinating to me about the speech, let's take the ending
aside. i mean, the speech is always going to be remembered for that emotional ending. it's just something different. you're not used to that at state of the unions. but let's take sort of the speech as it began. it began with him talking to congress. you were debating, what were the different audiences. it began with him speaking to congress, right? he began with the sequester, with the budget battles, but i thought he was sort of stern with congress. maybe he wasn't mean about it, but i thought he was at sometimes to borrow a world that my old pal savannah used, hectoring at times. you've got to fix this. we can't keep governing crisis to crisis. but then when he talked about the various ideas he had, that's when it felt like an old bill clinton state of the union that was frankly very well poll tested because he talked about issues that washington doesn't talk about but that people at
home care about. minimum wage. the idea of pre-k, the idea of college affordability. he was talking about sort of everyday pocketbook issues that always poll test well, and yet we don't talk about here in washington. so that's when he talked above us. >> senator coburn, yesterday prior to the committee approval of chuck hagel for secretary of defense, there were several back-and-forths between various members of the panel, senator mccaskill, but the pivot point senator ted cruz from texas who basically had a pretty personal attack impugning former senator hagel's patriotism, bottom line. i'm wondering, this lack of civility in the senate, what are your thoughts on this? >> oh, you know, i think the senate's pretty civil.
you all don't get to see what goes on behind the lines and where people kiss and make up and where younger senators, you know, maybe step out a little further than what they might just in terms of figuring out how you operate in the long term here. i don't think it's unhealthy at all. what is unhealthy is not doing our jobs. mike. and that's what's not been happening in the senate because the leader hasn't been bringing the appropriate bills to the floor that the country needs. i.e., a budget. i.e., spending bills. in other words, we haven't been doing our job. and it isn't because we're not getting along and not civil. we're not doing our job because we lack significant leadership on the part of the majority leader. >> john heilemann. >> hey, chuck, i'm curious, i just want to pick up on something senator coburn just said, which is that the senate is still a relatively civil place. there's a dinner that takes place before the senate of the union. it took place last night where all the members of the senate and their spouses get together
and have dinner. it's like the only bipartisan thing that happens up there anymore. do you think that the civit's sl a civil environment? >> no, i don't think cruz is the symbol of a deeper problem. i think senator cruz, you know, you hear whispers about this that he's rubbing some people the wrong way. and by the way, these whispers are coming from other republicans as well as democrats. it's by bipartisan, but that is more of the hey, you're the new guy, you know, why don't you learn the ropes here and play by a more civil set of rules? but i don't think -- i think that's -- i do think on the senate side, i'm with senator coburn. there really is more at least a friendlier atmosphere. senators actually -- bipartisan senators actually go to lunch together. >> you need to remember how uncivil i was supposedly accused of being when i got here when i took on ted stevens and arlen
specter. there's no change. you work your way into the senate. you build relationships, and then you work bipartisanly. >> let me just say, i mean, i've known you for a long time, tom. you were uncivil. and then you grew a beard and you've become an elder statesman of sorts. >> elder is the only correct word that could be associated with me. >> gracious. >> robert gibbs, you have a question? >> i think senator coburn, what do you think has to happen to get these two sides together? what do republicans have to put on the table in order to get the president to move, as you talk about, on entitlement reform? >> or do you give up? >> oh, no, we don't give up. we can't give up. the fact is is sequestration will be some very bitter medicine that will draw some people to their senses. and after two or three weeks of that, when we start seeing it, all of a sudden people are going to start, first of all, getting
pressure from home. and in terms about the impacts of that. all of a sudden people's positions are going to change a little bit and become much more cooperative. but we can't -- you know, i know where the waste is in this government. there's a lot of waste in discretionary. but we could get rid of all of the waste in discretionary. we could actually clean all the waste out of the pentagon which is well over $100 billion a year. it still doesn't solve our problem. we cannot solve our problem unless we change medicare to save it and put a competitive model into our health care system that will allocate that scarce resource. it's really interesting. just yesterday the cms has finished going through all this bidding on durable medical equipment. and the statement coming from cms, for the first time, is hey, we just figured out competition works. about a 41% savings on durable medical equipment not just for the federal government but for the seniors who are going to be doing their co-pay. so competition works.
and if it will work -- it works in this area, health care will work in the rest. we've just got to have a little pain. that happened to me as a child frequently with a popular switch. >> okay. well, there you go. >> there's a bumper sticker for 2014. >> chuck, good morning. senator, good morning. chuck, quick question for you. what are the odds you place on sequester going through and two, a government shutdown if they can't pass a continuing resolution? what do your sources say? >> i think senator coburn telegraphed exactly what i keep hearing is going to happen. sequester will happen on march 1st. and then the markets will react negatively. there will be some quick pain. and over the 27-day period between sequester on march 1st and the government running out of money on march 27th, then maybe you'll see some action where they quote, unquote, fix the sequester. it's why republicans in the house feel comfortable letting it happen because they know they have 26 days to, like, undo
sequester. it's like a trial sequester. >> all right. >> okay, chuck. >> i said when tom coburn got elected to the senate, it was about as exciting an election as there had been in a long time. >> uh-huh. >> you know, he stayed true. >> yeah. >> grown a beard. when he drinks liquids, he owns that drink. >> with the best of them. >> and tom, keep fighting the good fight, my man. proud of you. >> you guys have a great morning. >> one of our previous guests sounded like he came up. >> and joe, the senator was drinking starbucks, so he was also product placement appropriate. >> you know, ted cruz came on, he'd probably drink dunkin' donuts. >> just to show you. that's right. >> chewing on munchkins. still ahead, the chairman and ceo of comcast, brian roberts. more "morning joe" when we come back. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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try post shredded wheat. this has been medifacts for post shredded wheat. 47 past the hour. here with us now, the chairman and ceo of comcast, brian roberts. i tried to get joe to dress up. >> i'm dressed up. >> brian. >> this is me dressing up. >> i'm sorry. >> we didn't know it was casual at comcast. >> every day is casual day here on "morning joe," apparently. >> look at barnicle. you notice. i mean, from -- >> all right. >> -- the waist up, he looks good. but untucked shirt. >> this happened quickly. >> it's been two years. i think i was right here almost two years ago today. and it's been a great two years. and so when we had the opportunity to sit down with ge and say, could we accelerate? you know, we didn't have to.
they didn't have to. so you have to find an arrangement that we both felt was fair. but in our minds we'd probably pay more later to buy the other 49%. we love the businesses. we think the turnaround is happening. steve burke and the management team at nbc universal we're very pleased with. and so here we are. we also had historically low interest rates. it's a good time to invest. we think the economy's slowly rebounding and continuing, sustainably, and our cable business which gets lost sometimes in all this. steve's replacement, neil schmidt, is doing a fantastic job. had a record quarter. record year. >> by the way, "morning joe" leading the way, as usual. >> a big part of it, right? >> exactly. so the decision that you had to make, to accelerate it, because that's interesting, if you have 51%, the way i would think, and it's the reason why i'm employed by you is because i think, well, if somebody's carrying 49% of the freight and i have control of the company, i'm going to keep it that way for as long as possible.
but talk about the advantages of clearing it out and owning the full 100%. >> well, on the one hand, it was a perfect relationship. and ge's been a great partner. really, really. and they let us do our thing, and that's not easy for two companies to operate that way, especially when one used to operate the business. but if you're going to do all that work and if you really believe it's going to be successful, so sometimes actions speak louder than words. we believe we would have paid more later. we believe that these businesses are getting more valuable. "morning joe," in all seriousness, all kidding aside, all of our content wants to be on more platforms. it's more popular than ever. how we all get paid, there's plenty of uncertainty in the business. but the content business looks really successful, particularly cable channels. and that's the heart and soul of nbc universal. but nbc is turning around. nbc sports is no longer losing money. theme parks, we were all just in orlando. >> right. >> universal theme parks have had a record year and a record couple years. >> by the way, that's been a real surprise for you guys.
i understand that when you came in, you looked at all these other things. you also have theme parks. yeah, yeah, that's great. but it ends up that these theme parks are doing a great business right doing a great business. >> almost $1 billion in cash flow and we're expecting. we're taking most of that -- a big portion of that and we're going to put it into new transformers ride, more harry potter experiences all over the world, we hope. so we're investing, and if you think some day those investments are going to pay off, you'd like 100% of those payoffs, not 51%, it's that simple. >> you've mentioned content several times this morning. in terms of the delivery, and content i assume is going to be king in the immediate future. what you can deliver for content to viewers. does anyone know where content is going? where and how it's going to be delivered over the next five to six years? >> my honest answer to that question is i don't think anybody can say with certainty what's going to happen with
technology. and i don't know what's king. i know content's critical. but at the same time we're building the world class distribution network with our fiberoptics at xfinity and comcast. we have the best in home wi-fi. we're building that in your neighborhood. however you choose to consume it, we want to be a company you consume our content and you consume it through our network. it's not always going to be that way. but if we have the best netwoan best content we're uniquely positioned at a very special company. that's why we completed this 100% purchase. it's why our company is, i think, a little different than every other. it's not a media company. not a technology company. it's the best of both. >> people have talked for a while about the demise of cable. your answer to mike's question speaks to that a bit. building on mike's point how did you do it last year and how do you see the cable business growing going forward in spite of the early talk and the
premature talk about cable not being able to succeed in this new environment. >> one, you're right. we lost 7,000 customers in the fourth quarter. had it not been for hurricane sandy we would have gained customers for the first time in over five years. i don't know we can do that every quarter. we've had something like nine straight quarters where our results got better than a year before. the worst is over and we see, you know, a lot depends on housing and the economy. but our products are better. there are more experiences. you can get them on more devices. it's a better reason to buy our cable service. secondly our internet is really the growth engine of the company. we've diversified. taken that same wire. we maybe can't control all the video and what some kids want to do but we can have the best internet, which we do. we can continue to invest in that. thirdly, we look for new businesses. we just started a home security business. we went into small and medium sized businesses who were well over $3 billion in revenues and
a business that was zero five years ago. just with the same wire but now attaching it to businesses and bringing fiber and bringing competition to a market that didn't have competition. i think you can't standstill. you can't predict with certainty. but you can have a company where you stand for growth, innovation, taking risk, having a strong balance sheet and great people. you know, the rest will work itself out. >> joe, notice he gave three reasons. >> i can tell you people around here are really excited you guys are here. >> very excited. >> because their 401(k)s have gone way up. they've been flat for a while before you guys get here. of course, i'm going to have to look into retirement funds sometime. it's not all good news. >> you have. >> this is going to cut into some people's free time. >> oh, yes. burke. is he going to be okay? >> he's not going to have time
to kayak around manhattan. >> is he all right with all this? >> he is really pumped up. i think the whole group is. >> steve burk is pumped up. >> and he's athletic and working hard. >> his hair never moves. 100% every time. >> like superman. >> i love listening to these guys down in orlando talking about their relationship. you have a really fascinating, really good relationship with steve burke. >> we've worked together now almost 13 years. and we've seen comcast change an awful lot. here we are. he has put together a super team here at nbcuniversal. we had a great management retreat. we have an ambitious goal for '13 and beyond. this is a long-term proposition. we'll tell the employees in a town hall later today that, you know, it's not two years. it's not one quarter. it's a consistency and purpose and a belief that if we build it and we have the best content and the best distribution, we're going to have a great company. >> come cacast chairman and ceo
brian roberts. coming up on "morning joe" major antonio villaraigosa will join us. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪ just one bite opens a world of delight... ♪ a flavor paradise of delicious fishes ♪ ♪ friskies seafood sensations. ♪ ♪ feed the senses. all stations come over to mithis is for real this time.
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all right. up next, president obama lays out his second term agenda, including an impassioned plea on guns. we break down the state of the union. >> that's exciting. >> come on, seriously? >> this is "national geographic." >> louis interviewed her last night. simmer down. >> who did louis interview? >> kate upton. >> who is she? >> we'll be right back. [ dad ] find it?
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along with more than two dozen americans who've lives have been torn apart by gun violence p. they deserve a vote. they deserve a vote. gabby giffords deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of elk creek and tucson and blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. >> good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. on the west coast. time to wake up, everyone. as you tyake a live look at new
york city. we have mike barnacle, harold ford jr., richard haass. and kelly o'donnell. >> what did you think? >> i thought it was a good speech. it was a laundry list. a lot of different things. what did you think. >> i thought -- >> ambitious. >> i thought there were a lot of missed opportunities. just maybe we have to tweak medicare. just maybe we have to tackle debt. it was, again, richard haass, unfortunately for this president, it was more of the same of what we saw during the state of the union, i believe, is a guy that was playing to his base more than trying to figure out how to make washington work. >> it was a direct appeal to the quote, unquote, middle class. particularly what government programs could do to help. the most positive thing i would have said was actually the call on immigration reform. i thought that was good. i also thought the issue on a
u.s./european trade area. it's not a sexy thing. ultimately the united states and europe represent half the world's economy. if that actually were to happen that's a big deal strategically and economically. i think those things were good. the call for climate change, for something on that was incredibly vague. quite honestly the biggest problem is not going to necessarily be here at home. it's going to be the fact the rest of the world, the chinese, indians, all that, they're not going to support what it is we want to do on climate change. >> mike do you think, mike? what were your takeaways from last night? what was the high point for you? >> i was struck -- i thought the speech was much more moderate than a lot of people probably expected going in. speaking about -- he mentioned entitlement reform. obviously he didn't get into any specifics about it. immigration reform. nearly everyone is in favor of immigration reform. refinancing your mortgage. that's a real middle class pitch right there. but i was struck by the fact, i think, he soared right past the congress. right to the country. that's where he's going. >> yeah. >> he figures, i think
correctly, that they have not gone along with anyone that he wants to do for the past four years and he's going to take this right to the country. i think he probably has a stronger hand to play with the country, obviously, than he does with the congress. >> i thought that was strategically smart. >> it's strategically smart if you want democrats to win the 2014 election. >> certainly harold ford, that's his prerogative. he's president of the united states. that speech last night told me, harold, that he just doesn't think he can get anything done in washington, d.c., unless he has a democratic house and nancy pelosi as speaker. because he sure as heck wasn't trying to bring both sides together. which, again, that's his prerogative. >> right. >> i'm not criticizing. but his political calculation clearly last night was i'm never going to get the republicans to work with me. let's just start running nancy pelosi as speaker tonight. >> it was big. it was brawny. it was ambitious. it was a checklist of things. in terms of being an organized
set of policy proposals, coherence of policy proposals, it was not. i agree with mike and haass's analysis of it as well. this video, last night, joe, is one that could be run by the organization that's being set up as an extension of the campaign. this will be the face of the -- of the web page for saying this is what this effort is all about. to convince congress on a number of things we want to get done. we'll throw it all on the wall and see if anything can happen. i was pleased by one thing. talk about the big thing that stood out to me. two things. he talked about the middle class i thought to an extent that was more specific than in the past. and his calls for increases to the minimum wage is something that many democrats and even some republicans, interestingly, particularly in the south and midwest discussed in their campaigns as well. i would agree with mike and richard on that analysis as well. >> john heilemann? >> a lot of swagger in that speech last night, joe. you saw the president in much the same way as you pointed out
as the inaugural. he's got a confidence right now and a lot of boldness and a lot of attitude. there's no question it was implicitly -- the tone wasn't hostile or aggressive. but it was confrontational in a way. the basic message of the speech to my ears was speaking over the heads of congress and to congress saying, do your job. >> almost fed up. >> and there was an constitutional kind of challenge there that kind of said, look, there's a lot of great ideas here. you guys have been falling down institutionally. i'm going to challenge you directly to do what i want you to do. i thought the economics part of the speech was relatively uninspired. the first half of it was traditional state of the union fair and laundry listy. the two things that stand out are the big section of the speech on climate change. i agree with richard. it was vague but it's something he hasn't talked about in four years. now both in the inaugural and this speech he devoted a lot of time to it. of course the end of the speech which was unusually passionate and rousing and emotional for a state of the union address devoted to guns. there's never been a state of the union where a president has stood up, devoted that kind of
time and emotional energy to the issue of gun violence. i thunk it shink it shows the p really wants to fight on that issue. >> kelly o'donnell, you were there. were you able to gauge reaction in the chamber among members of congress? >> i've been in the chamber for a number of this president's addresses and president bush before. early in the evening there was more of a sense of a flat energy. i don't know if that's because we've just come off the inaugural address. it seemed to take a while for the room to sort of ignite. when you got to the point where there was the discussion of guns, i was about five feet or so in front of gabby giffords and her family. so i was able to see how people around them looked as they stood at first quietly and then applauding and then i also could see how some of the other family members had brought photos of loved ones. i was also struck by when sort of the kind of emotion of the moment had faded. there was one woman, i presume a mother, who shouted out kind of picking up on the president's cadence, the name of her loved one.
and then repeated his phrase, deserves a vote. she was actually quietly removed from the chamber. i think the emotion of that time was certainly significant. it was a high point. it sort of got people who might have been even, you know, a little low energy throughout to perk up. they deserve a vote is a long way from let's get this passed. i think that's an important distinction about guns. >> right. >> immigration, i thought it was much more bipartisan. i kept sort of an -- kind of an informal tally. i think there were about 15 times when people of both parties stood for some of the things the president was talking about. another 11 times when it was just democrats. so there was some bipartisan energy in the room. not the most boisterous or most alive speech i've seen the president give in person, but it had some key moments. >> boy, isn't it terrible, mike barnacle, you know, using politics -- we always talk of people standing up and not
standing. john boehner didn't stand up for the 102-year-old woman. he didn't stand up for the line "they deserve a vote." he's in the position, i guess, where that's what he has to do as leader of the party. but it's just -- democrats look silly when they sit down when a president says something that's so obviously unifying. it looks like a day care class if those guys behind the president would just agree we're going to applaud when he comes in and sit down because it just makes us look silly. >> they look like children in a day care class by rote. they hope up and applaud. then they'll sit, sit on their hands depending on their party affiliation. one of the points in his speech where i think he really scored among people standing in line to get cups of coffee and put gas in their cars today is when he urged the congress to stop drifting from one crisis to another. that's the sense that's in the country. these people do nothing. they just bump along. from one crisis to the other. >> who's the captain of the
ship? i'm sorry. but that's what struck me. he said -- the buck stops with the president of the united states. he went out and gave that speech, richard haass. i wish marco rubio would have said, you know what the state of the union is? i'll tell you what the state of the union is. average income of americans has dropped 5%. not since barack obama became president of the united states, but since the recession ended. our economy's in transition. more americans are being left behind. >> kids will not go to college. >> senior citizens aren't going to be assured of these entitlement programs for long. we're $6 trillion deeper in debt today than we were when barack obama became president. barack obama's allowed the national debt to go up by 60% himself since he was president. 4 million more americans are out of work today than were working when barack obama became president. we've got the weakest recovery in over 70 years with barack
obama as president of the united states. it is time to think big. it is time to go long. it is time to come together. why couldn't anybody in washington say that last night? >> there's a lack of urgency to it. there was a sense that -- it was a little bit -- so much depends on what the baseline is. the president was almost saying things are improving. he could have -- a very different approach would have been things are maybe improving but let's not kid ourselves. we face urgent problems, massive problems. and unless we get serious among other things about dealing with the budget, about dealing with infrastructure and all these other issues -- he mentioned them. i don't think he tied it together on the idea that this is a major national challenge facing the united states. we've got to change fundamentally the way we do business in washington. you the american people have to think differently. among other things, you've got to be prepared for changes about the way we do entitlements. there was a hint at it.
there was a nod in that direction. i don't think anyone came away from the speech saying things have really got to change and i've got to change. >> yeah. you know, there might have been, and i can see how some would feel there were missed opportunities to go really big. but it's all relative. you just wonder sometimes, you know, where the next leader is in the republican party. senator marco rubio, florida, was tasked with delivering the republican response to the president's state of the union address. rubio spoke about his own background before pivoting to the president's speech. >> like most americans, for me, this ideal is personal. my parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and to give their children the chance at an even better one. they made it to the middle class. my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. i didn't inherit any money from them. but i inherited something far better. the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. his solution to virtually every problem we face is for
washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more. the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hard working middle class taxpayers, that's an old idea that's failed every time it's been tried. more government isn't going to help you get ahead. it's going to hold you back. more government isn't going to create more opportunities. it's going to limit them. >> all right. also about 11 minutes into senator rubio's speech he took a pause. >> oh, come on. >> you don't need to show this. >> actually -- you don't want me to? >> it's a cheap shot. >> is it a cheap shot? >> let's show it. that's who we are. mike, you were saying it's a cheap shot and we should show it? >> absolutely. >> i think there were performance issues. and i think we all know as people -- >> have you ever had a performance issue? >> yes. which is why it takes one to know one. these things happen when you don't really know what you're saying or believe what you're saying or feel what you're saying. >> or you're speaking to millions and millions and
millions and millions of americans. i mean, this -- >> again, now -- >> -- this is the toughest gig. seriously, this is following -- this is like a guy that does the plates following the beatles on ed sullivan. you don't want to follow the beatles on sullivan. >> president obama is the beatles? really? >> here it is. >> i'm not doing it. >> the short time i've been here in washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. >> stop it, barnacle. right now. >> it's funny. >> you're like the mean kid in class. >> don't run it on a loop. stop it. >> it's not just that. it's -- >> that was the least of his challenges. >> so talk about the presentation. i want to start -- hold on. let's go with harold ford. >> marco rubio has been billed
as one of the future leaders of the party. he looked like night as if he was running to be the head of the fraternity in college. the substance wasn't totally off. he missed -- i thought there was many missed opportunities there. >> as if he was running for college fraternity president as opposed to college president which was even a smaller stake. i thought your point, joe, about what should have been said is something that should have been articulated by marco. he has become a new face for the party. he's become a new voice in the party. and one frankly that will command respect. i thought last night if he looks back on it, forget the water. if he was thirsty he should take a sip. the real issue was -- >> can i just say that really quickly? we've got a lot to talk about. let me just say to kids at home, if you're thinking about you want to grow up one day and give the minority's response to the president of the united states, if you drink the water, own the water. >> coming up, mayor antonio villaraigosa joins us next to weigh in on the president's state of the union address. also joining us, political analyst jeff greenfield.
and cnbc's brian schactman. first, here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> little mini winter storm heading across the ohio valley. let me break down the details. right now we're watching a little snow mixed with rain in areas of kentucky up toward louisville. you'll see snowflakes today. the roads should be okay. maybe a slushy inch on the grass and the car. this is going to move again into west virginia later on today. get some snow there in the mountains. then we're going to move into the northeast. dc, rain for you this afternoon. maybe some wet snowflakes tonight. it's a little bit colder up towards philly and new york city. after the sun sets, that's when we'll increase our chances of the snow. it's not going to be a blockbuster event. may just have to brush off the car. again, temperatures are warm. probably a heavier wet slush. one to three inches around philly. same for new york city. if anything it's going to be towards the lower end. the timing would be to end around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. your morning commute hopefully they'll be clearing it out. forecast today the rest of the country, looks pretty good
today. great weather from texas all the way to the west coast right through your valentine's day. remember i mentioned that east coast storm potential for this upcoming weekend? finally we're getting a good trend. it continues to be off the coast, an ocean storm. behind it will be a cold blast. we can deal with the cold. we just didn't need anymore snow. doesn't look like we're going to get it. leaving you with a shot of washington, d.c. rain coming in this afternoon. grab the umbrella if you're heading out the door. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money
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our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. and right now leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, faith communities, they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. now is the time to do it. now is the time to get it done. let's get this done. send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and i will sign it right away, and america will be better for it. let's get it done. let's get it done. >> let's get it done. 23 past the hour. joining us now, gentlemen, we have political analyst, host of cbs's "need to know" and columnist for yahoo! news jeff greenfield. also cnbc's brian schactman who was up way too early this
morning. >> way too early. >> from los angeles, los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa. good to have you on board this morning. >> the point of the speech was to put obama front and center on the economy, it didn't work. primarily because the noneconomic part of the speech, particularly the section on guns, was the more emotional level. it really was the highlight of that speech emotionally regardless of your stance on guns. >> yeah. most state of the union speeches are prose, not poetry. as you know this. you had to sit there and do the aerobic exercises. it's wonky. it's washingtonian. a lot of the stuff, the message, i'm on your side. the real message of the economic section was i'm from the government and i'm here to help which is a tough sell. >> trickle down liberalism. >> well, okay. but the gun part of the speech was so unusual for a state of the union, so charged, for obvious reasons, it's a visceral issue. anyone who's ever been a parent,
you don't even have to be a parent to have experienced what newtown was like. i think if you're at home watching and you don't watch c-span 3 for erotic pleasure, if you're a normal american, that's what you take away from that speech. if the point of it was to say i'm on your side, i'm on the side of the middle class, i think it got overwhelmed by the sheer power of what happened later on in the speech. >> it really was a strong, strong ending to the speech. very moving. mr. mayor, what was your takeaway from the speech? >> well, from what i got to see of it, as you know i was dealing with a crisis over the last week, i can -- i thought pretty much the same thing. the issue of gun violence in america is visceral. it hits right to the heart strings of americans. it certainly was the emotional highlight of the speech. i thought the immigration section that we just heard is one of the most important.
but that and the economic themes that he was trying to hit probably lost a little steam with the emotion packed with that issue. >> yep. mike barnicle. >> can you give us an update on the christopher dorner situation? h as it seemed to come to a head yesterday in the san bernardino mountains? >> thankfully it has. thanks to the brave men and women of the san bernardino sheriff's department it looks like we have our man. as you know, we still have to identify him. so at this point the people that were protecting -- who've been targeted are still being protected until we are absolutely certain that it is mr. dorner. >> brian schactman, what did you take away from the economics of the speech? >> well, it's interesting. because one thing you talked about, jeffrey, the middle class. we haven't talked about -- the pre-k thing came out of nowhere. the minimum wage hike was
another interesting thing. one thing -- when we watch jobs, there's a huge swath of this population that might be out of work that will never find its niche consistently for the rest of their working lives. and so pointing the attention towards the next generation and maybe trying to make sure their educations are in place, that they can make -- because minimum wage is for young people. when you think about it, that's what you think of. so focusing on maybe making sure there isn't that structural unemployment for the next generation could have a lot of foresight. whether it's even a priority, i don't know. but people at home, they remember that, oh, minimum wage might go up. oh, maybe pre-k is something that might be taken care of for me. those are takeaways that i did not expect to hear. >> jeff, i always -- people always said that washington was so hard to figure out. i said it's actually the easiest thing, place in the world. i'm serious. it's not that hard to figure out what somebody wants. then you immediately know their leverage. i got to say, though, barack obama continues to baffle me. in his inauguration, then in his
speech last night, he wasn't doing what bill clinton would always do which is reach out and grab working class voters and talk specifically to them. he was talking in the state of the union last night about guns. he was talking about climate change. he was talking about universal pre-k. and it was striking themes, and it's not going to pass the republican house. but like the inauguration he seemed to be playing for the history books. to me. >> okay. but i think in fairness state of the union speeches, one of the reasons why we remember so few of them is, unlike an inaugural, it is a speech where the president lays out a broad litany. i'm sure some people are going to criticize him for not talking about international affairs enough. you know, i think what brian is saying is right in the sense that for folks watching this who are not policy wonks, what they heard was stuff they could take with them. about minimum wage. about pre-k. the fundamental part about this is there is a huge chasm about
what to do about the central problem we've been facing for five years, which is lack of growth and widespread unemployment. you've got a republican party at base that really believes in a version of austerity. and you've got a president who believes in what he calls investment and what republicans call spending. it is a chasm that i think is unbridgeable. and perhaps that's one of the reasons why the president went into other issues that don't require him to persuade a house majority that is not persuadable about his view of government. >> right. mike, this problem actually has gone well beyond five years. the average wage for men has been on the decline since 1973. we all remember bill clinton in december of 1991, in january of '92, going around new hampshire talking about an economy in transition. >> yeah. >> we're still in transition. and the working class continue to be left behind. >> and you have the anomaly at
some levels you have job growth, but not income growth. which is a really, really huge anomaly. it plays a factor in the lives of all of us, certainly. but in places like los angeles, mr. mayor, there is quite often, i would think, a link between structural unemployment, as brian schactman was just talking about, and the level of violence in specific neighbors. if you go into south central or into watts where huge unemployment rates have existed for years and years and years, the violence level has remained consistent. how do you cope with that in an economic environment as we're going through right now? >> well, actually, in the last seven years, there's been a 40% drop in violent crime in los angeles. and in watts, there's been almost a 50% drop in crime. yet the unemployment rate is too high. and i can tell you that it's higher than many cities, precisely because so many people don't have a high school diploma. don't have a college education.
in an economy where increasingly you need that. i will say something about immigration. one out of ten angelenos are undocumented. about 58% of los angeles households have at least one immigrant as the head of a household. this issue of immigration is an issue that isn't just a social issue, if you will. it's an economic issue. not just for cities like l.a., but for the nation. $1.5 trillion infusion into the economy. if we bring these people from out of the dark and into the light. it's an economic issue. it does strike at the heart of angelenos and people all across the country, particularly in our big cities, but also in rural areas as well. >> final word, brian? >> what you said earlier about marco rubio's response, do you want to chime in? >> go ahead. >> i think might be most important of the whole show. there was an opportunity to say what the republicans can do.
instead he was saying about what the democrats and obama are doing that's wrong. i think there was a real opportunity to come across and say to that middle class american what the republicans can do for you. and they did not do that. >> i've been saying since the day after the election, the great challenge for the republican party is to do what ronald reagan did and margaret thatcher did and explain, whether it's a selling point or not, but they believe it. reagan believed that free enterprise, free markets, were just as good for the 18-year-old latino and watts as a 65-year-old white hedge fund manager in greenwich, connecticut. you don't get the sense that conservatives like mitt romney and some we've been hearing lately connect those dots. they don't believe the gospel they're preaching. so americans turn them off. >> given the unbridgeable, which would be possibly the economic side of this, the more i think about it, the more i think that last part of the speech was incredibly powerful.
and actually brilliantly played. because he could have gone too far. and overpoliticized newtown. he could have overly used the victims' families. it was pitch perfect. and it was the one area where he warned republicans, let's get something done. >> it wasn't prose, as you said. >> yeah. and i think that's what -- that's what startled some of us who've been watching state of the unions for a very long time. it was of a different -- it was actually the debut of his new chief speech writer. cody keenan. >> interesting. >> and it was one of those few times when a state of the union actually to me reached beyond the washington world. presidents always try to talk to two audiences. the congress and the public. that part of the speech was clearly talking to the public. >> yeah. >> all right. mayor antonio villaraigosa, thank you so much for being with us. jeff, stay with us. brian, you'll be back shortly for business for the bell. coming up next, this is the resume for which president? 3.3% unemployment rate. >> that's great.
>> 7% annual economic growth. >> wow. >> reduced government spending by 35%. >> i'm voting for him. >> and five years of budget surpluses. any guesses? >> i know. i cheated. >> up next, best selling biograp biography. what calvin coolidge could teach us about today's economy. that's next when "morning joe" returns. ♪ they see me rollin' ♪ they hatin' ♪ patrolling they tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ ♪ tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ ♪ tryin' to -- [ woman ] hi there. why do we always have to take your mom's car? [ male announcer ] the security of an iihs top safety pick, the 2013 volkswagen tiguan. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease a 2013 tiguan for $219 a month.
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joining us now columnist and best selling author. she's out with the new book "coolidge." it looks amazing. thanks for being on the show this morning. >> first of all, what can be learned from looking back at this presidency? >> well, we think about the parameters last night. i don't see it as unbridgeable. the parties were pretty close. they wanted to be nice. and do it for different class fwrups. however you define presideit. coolidge didn't see that. his economics was for everyone. he wouldn't focus on one group
or the other. the other thing he said that we didn't really say very clearly, anyone did, was cut, cut, cut. he would say sequester away, please. this is not arbitrary. remember, president obama slammed sequesters. it's not arbitrary because we said we would do it. he was very consistent. he always cut in the budget. the one thing you want to take away about him, if you take anything about the 30th president, is that when he left office after 67 months, the budget was lower than when he came in. >> he was obsessed with debt. >> obsessed. >> and there is actually family background to that story. that you start with. >> that's right. i had a wonderful research team at the calvin coolidge memorial foundation and forbe's library in north hampton. we found coolidge had an ancestor, an uncle in the past who went to jail in woodstock, vermont, for a debt related issue. and there he wrote a poem, a curse upon the house of coolidge for being stingy.
they thought about that a lot. they had this skeleton in the closet. >> you talk about his life being a lot like lincoln's. that before becoming president of the united states, he had one failure or near failure after another. adulthood brought more trials. you said young coolidge was so sickly his father and others were worried he might not complete his education. he was deeply shy. found it agonizing to meet adults who entered his parents' front rooms. adulthood brought more trials. you talk about one near failure after another but he just persevered. >> he's way under rated. you look at charts. he's in the bottom half or bottom quarter. he belongs in the top. and his story -- that's sort of intentional he gave us that. he said, let's surprise them with how good our result can be. and you look at the results, these are results as you said we envy. strong growth.
wages went up. wow. union membership went down but unemployment was so low, i guess unions didn't matter. budget balanced. debt down. budget reduced. he always surprised people with those positive results. so that's different. there's a whole model in there for us today. >> and you look at other -- all the facets of his life. first of all, bourn on the fourth of july in vermont. in the white house, though, an incredible story about how he lost his son. >> yes. and some people tell this as he got to president failed. i see him more like lincoln who also lost a son in the white house. and then waged a war. in this case the story was calvin, his son got a tennis blister playing on the white house court. there were no antibiotics then. it became septic and he died within a week in walter reed hospital. coolidge just couldn't believe it. their 16-year-old boy, calvin. this was a very happy, wonderful
boy. a boy of great character. and i talk about him in the book and what he did. >> it almost broke coolidge, didn't it? >> what a story. >> he had trouble moving forward. >> well, he wrote in his autobiography later that it did cost so much. the presidency brought this. but where i see that coolidge is like lincoln is that he did persevere in his war which was to cut taxes. it was a tax cut war. and he brought the top rate after the death of calvin down to 25%. which lower than reagan. >> jeff? >> one of the things that has come down to us is the nickname silent cal. the famous story that somebody said i made a bet that i could get you to say more than five words. the answer is, you lose. how much of that is a myth and how much of that is true? >> it's quite true. his states of the union could be long. his messages. but at a party or when an amendment came to the white house, he would be silent. this has always been depicted as
sort of a regional curiosity. a new englander, right? he's silent. but there was a method and a reason for it. he didn't want to say yes to mendicants. the story of washington is people coming to you asking you for something. he didn't want to say yes so he cut it short with silence. >> so if daniel day-lewis were to play coolidge in a movie it would be a silent film? >> that's right. we were wanting a blonder actor. more of a sandy new englander. but, yes. in the end the lawmakers didn't even want to -- he would have breakfast at the white house. his mean usher always -- anyway, the lawmakers were disappointed in him. but he helped the country. >> he was -- this quote of the son. look how beautiful the son was. coolidge said his younger son, calvin jr., to work in the massachusetts tobacco fields over the summer. a fellow laborer told the boy if
my father were present, i would not work in a tobacco field. young calvin responded, if your father were my father, you would. >> the book is "coolidge." read an expert on our blog. mojo.msnbc pn mojo.msnbc.com. amity shlaes, thank you so much. brian schactman has today's top business stories, straight ahead. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up
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are you bummed you're missing the state of the union? you know the state of the union is tonight? >> i didn't actually know because i got the cover of "sports illustrated." i don't know anything else that's going on. >> so upset i actually dvr'd it. >> have you now? >> not really. i don't really know what that
is. >> super bummed. >> that's tonight, really? >> i'm so sad. so heartbroken. >> quite sad, you know. i might -- i might go to the bathroom and listen to it. >> i'm super bummed. why would i want to be with all these beautiful ladies in vegas partying? >> barack will call me later. we'll go over it. it's going to be fun. >> i don't know if you might need a valentine date. i could easily get out to vegas. >> i think i'm good. >> fantastic. >> louis! you funny guy. i think i'm good. >> funny how louis could be in two places at once. >> kate upton really taken by you. i could tell. >> you had a chance. >> yeah. she liked him. she did. you could tell. >> she didn't want the camera to know it. >> i think louis is good, actually. >> louis is happy. all right. of course, brian schactman is going to be, in case you're a cnbc fan, later today schactman
is going to be interviewing kate upton on quantitative easing 3. he interviewed her yesterday. >> how did that go? >> today he's going to be interviewing on qe-3. >> we asked her some pressing questions. about her brand. >> what did she say her brand was, specifically? >> well, she can be choosy now. >> he can't remember. >> it's amazing. i will tell you when she walks into a newsroom, and we're supposed to be adults -- >> filled with middle-aged guys. what happens? i bet it's a shock. >> it's -- really. it was unbelievable how -- i don't know how else to say it. >> can you please complete the sentence. >> i'm going to move on to business. brian sullivan said hello to kate upton. >> i bet he sucked up all the oxygen out of the room. >> kate upton gets on the cover of "sports illustrated" last year. i think she was on last year. she exploded immediately. how much money does somebody
like kate upton make for modeling, for getting -- how much is that cover worth? >> in terms of opportunities, she's gone from nobody to being worth well over $2 million now. she's probably going to be worth in five years $50 million if things go well with her. what she can do in terms of sponsoring products and even on whether it's $10,000 an hour to do modeling. she is a cash machine right now. at the age of 20. she can't even drink legally. she's 20 years old. >> you know kathy ireland, of course, back in the '80s was in "sports illustrated." she used that opportunity. >> platform. >> so brilliantly. she's created just lines of homeware. >> tyra banks was the last one. >> a billionaire. >> tyra banks the last one to be on two years in a row. a talk show. elle mcpherson. whether she can parlay that and has honestly the brains to put that together remains to be
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that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you. you know, i thought louis was bad. >> what was his bad? >> i thought he was pathetic, actually, and kind of slobbering. >> schactman couldn't even complete sentences when he sees kate upton. >> oh, my god. it's -- >> you know what? i never even heard of her before today. >> i don't even know what to say. i can't defend myself. we should bring her in and see how she reacts. >> jeff greenfield, let's get serious. what have you learn today, my man. >> the mayor of l.a. told us crime has plummeted in los angeles despite the economy. >> chicago needs to get their